Welcome to the future: the rise of bladeless wind turbines
Tuesday, May 19, 2015, 11:26 - Think you know what a wind turbine looks like? You might have to think again if Spanish company Vortex Bladeless gets the crowdfunding they're looking for.
The Vortex, as their new wind turbine is called, is conical in shape and comes in two types: Vortex Gran and Vortex Mini.
The turbines are conical in shape and use an aerodynamic concept called vorticity to capture the energy. Vorticity poses challenges for architects trying to avoid situations like the Tacoma Narrows Bridge which collapsed after being hit by whirlpools of wind.
"'We said, ‘Why don’t we try to use this energy, not avoid it,’” David Surriol, one of the founders, told Wired.
The design has no gears, bolts or moving parts. Instead it relies on a series of repelling magnets that keep the giant cone oscillating in opposite directions.
Under ideal conditions, the Vortex is able to harness up to 40 per cent of the energy from wind. It falls short of regular wind turbines but makes up for it by allowing energy investors to place more turbines in smaller spaces.
Additionally, the turbine has less impact on other species such as birds which often fly into the blades.
The project has already gathered $1 million from public and private funding. Their crowd sourcing effort is expected to go live in June. The mini, a 41 foot model, could be ready by 2016.
"We can't say anything bad about conventional wind turbines; they're great machines," Suriol said. "We're just proposing a new way, a different way."